NEW DELHI: India's media on Monday lashed out at the country's cricket board for "shaming the nation" after it allowed president N Srinivasan to avoid resigning over a spot-fixing and betting scandal that has engulfed the national sport.
The 68 year old, considered the most powerful man in world cricket because of India's financial clout, resisted calls to quit on Sunday at an emergency meeting in Chennai, but agreed to "step aside" until a probe into the alleged betting is completed.
Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested on May 24 for allegedly taking part in illegal betting on the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is the subject of multiple police investigations.
"In one of the lowest points in Indian cricket history, an emergency board meeting of the BCCI dealt a huge blow to the game," the Times of India wrote in its editorial "Nation Dismayed".
"Indian cricket is run by a cosy clique of administrators who have little regard for the game or its image, but treat their posts as personal fiefs."
The paper also said the government "must not sit idle" while the cricket fan is "sold a lemon".
"BCCI bosses must know that they are accountable to the Indian cricket fan, which has made the game what it is. The BCCI has shamed the nation. In its present form, it has lost the moral right to run Indian cricket."
The Indian Express said the meeting confirmed that the board "thinks for itself, not the game".
"Srinivasan may have given way for the moment, but the extent of his sway over the board was clear in that his resignation was not asked for, nor was it forthcoming," the paper wrote in its editorial "Of the BCCI, for the BCCI".
"Srinivasan might have stepped out of the frame, but his shadow looms large over the board," it added.
Indian cricket officials also were not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, with former Indian board chief Inderjit Singh Bindra calling it a "sham" while Ajay Shirke, who quit as Indian board treasurer last week, said he was "extremely sad".
"I am at the same time extremely concerned about the future. We need a more credible explanation rather than just putting old wine in new bottles," he said.
Former BCCI and International Cricket Council president Jagmohan Dalmiya was named the interim head and will conduct the day-to-day affairs of the board during Srinivasan's absence.
The arrest of Srinivasan's son-in-law came after Test paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and two teammates in the IPL's Rajasthan Royals -- Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila -- were taken into custody. All the accused deny any wrongdoing.
Police allege the players deliberately bowled badly in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars after striking deals with bookmakers.
Meiyappan, who is still in custody, is being investigated for allegedly passing information to bookies and placing bets on the IPL.
Indian law bans gambling on all sports except horse-racing.